Once flourishing Bayside Centre largely reduced to rubble

A birds-eye view of the demolition underway in downtown Sarnia. Except for one section retained at centre-left, the Bayside Mall, once heralded as the downtown’s future, is little more than a memory. Drone image, courtesy Ian Sanderson

Journal Staff

Demolition of the Bayside Centre will be done by March of 2022, officials say.

Mitchell Demolition Inc. has been levelling the decades-old shopping mall for much of the summer while contractors renovate the former Eaton’s building for future tenant Lambton County Shared Services.

When demolition is completed, construction of a new retirement complex will begin, said Michael Lavallée, CEO of Seasons Retirement Communities, an Oakville business that bought the downtown Sarnia mall property in 2020.

The finished site will include 160 fully independent apartments, 144 retirement home suites, and 17 townhomes, Lavallée said.

The project, estimated to cost as much as $100 million, is scheduled for completion in 2026.